Fishhook attachment / TUE 9-2-14 / Female students condescendingly / Hobo's accessory / Snoop Dogg for one since 2012
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Constructor: Ethan Cooper
Relative difficulty: Challenging (***for a Tuesday***)
- TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE (17A: Perfect illustration)
- ROOM TO IMPROVE (22A: Unfulfilled potential)
- BEER NUT (37A: Pub tidbit)
- BOARD MEETINGS (47A: Gatherings in which C.E.O.'s are chosen)
'Plasma.' It just means 'plasma.' Apparently you don't gotta say that last 'a' at all. And here I've been saying it with the 'a' all these years, like some kind of time-wasting sucker...
UM, NO"—it's like when I see a young person wearing something stupid, but wearing it with confidence and style, such that I have to admit I'd rather see said stupid piece of clothing than Yet Another Backward-Baseball-Capped generic-looking dead-eyed conveyer-belt rider wearing what everybody else is wearing. In this example, "UM, NO" is the stupid piece of clothing and, let's say, ULNA is the conformist clothing, and college is the conveyor belt. I just decided that "UM, NO" is a lime green boa. Anyway, this grid has a kind of style. It's up to date on what Snoop's been doing lately, but still finds time for OBOES, and it likes to keep tabs on both the recent Batman moves (NOLAN) and old-school film noir (HUSTON). Seriously, that NOLAN / HUSTON row is pretty cool.
MAGIC (!?) (48D: Card tricks, e.g.). Also, there's a 3x3 patch there in the SE that is almost entirely Ss and Es. The ELSE'S EOE ISMS cluster*uck is kind of gross. I'm grateful that MAXIM is clued as a word and not the idiotic lad mag, i.e. porn for people who are afraid to buy porn. Themewise, there are a few issues. ROOM and BOARD really should be in sequence. They don't travel well alone. Presumably one will buy more than one textbook. Also, since all the other first words of the theme answers are used in non-college contexts, you could've pulled your BOOK answer even further away from the whole college context by going with something like BOOKKEEPER or "BOOK 'EM, DANNO" or something. But that's not a very big deal. The big deal is the BEER NUT answer. This is the answer that divides me in half—the half that thinks "ha, cute, good one," and the half that thinks "ugh, yes, great, let's wink at how awesome it is to binge-drink and date rape and exacerbate depression and all the other unfortunately very real things that often happen when college kids meet beer." That latter half of me is the half that has a daughter going to college in four years. It's also the half that has to overhear dozens of dumbass conversations every week about getting wasted, having gotten wasted, and the prospects for what will become next week's Having Gotten Wasted.
Oh, also, one BEER NUT? Really? A single BEER NUT? When have you ever seen and or eaten just one BEER NUT? That's ridiculous. It's a brand. The brand is BEER NUTS. Also, baseball helmets have earholes, not EARFLAPs (41D: Batting helmet feature). The word "flap" implies a certain mobility, an ability to fold back or away. The word does not apply to baseball helmets. Or shouldn't. So thumbs up to youthful exuberance, thumbs down to the whole fratboy vibe with the BEER and the COEDS (64A: Female students, condescendingly) and the MAXIM (I've decided it's a lad mag after all, no matter the clue).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld